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SCHOOL TRUSTEES HEAR EMPLOYEE COMPENSATION PROPOSAL

April 21, 2015
 
The Granbury ISD Board of Trustees heard a report on an employee compensation proposal during its regular monthly meeting on April 20, 2015.
 
Cindy Clegg, director of the Texas Association of School Board’s HR Services, reported to the board that a market pay review has been completed to help the district build models for improvement by aligning pay structures and adjusting employee pay. The goal of this initiative is to recruit and retain talent while ensuring internal and external equity and investing in and maintaining a progressive and competitive pay system.
 
Recommendations from TASB included increasing starting teacher salary, adjusting pay scales through a general increase, adding annual stipends for secondary math and science teachers, implementing incentives for teachers to give early notice of retirement and avoid excessive absences, and converting existing extra duty pay to flat stipends.
 
Also discussed was transitioning from a step salary schedule based primarily on longevity to a placement schedule that would determine a teacher’s initial salary upon employment with the district. Superintendent Dr. James Largent discussed that pay increases would be flat dollar amounts determined annually by the board rather than a traditional step increase. A separate merit-based program would provide additional pay to teachers who go above and beyond standard duties. Some criteria could include employee attendance, teacher evaluations, and certifications and professional development above minimum requirements.
 
The board took no action on the proposal. Dr. Largent reported that he received feedback earlier this month from teachers representing all campuses. The administration will continue gathering input into a final recommendation to be presented during budget presentations this summer.
 
Trustees adopted a resolution regarding high-stakes state testing. The movement was initiated by the Katy school board earlier this year to encourage the Texas Legislature to adopt a state program that centers on testing in grade levels and subject areas required by the federal government.
 
Regarding the 2014-15 school calendar, the board made a slight change to allow Friday, May 29 to be a full school day and Monday, June 1 to be an early release day for students. The change was necessary after the district closed due to bad weather earlier this year.
 
In personnel matters, the board hired Shane Conklin as human resources director, extended term contracts for teachers and other instructional employees, approved two teacher appointments, and received notification of retirements and resignations.
 
Trustees approved a refinancing of existing bonds approved by voters in 1999 for the construction of the two middle schools and other capital improvement projects. Josh McLaughlin of the BOSC Inc., the district’s financial advisor, reported that a substantially lower interest rate of 2.84% will save GISD taxpayers approximately $7.5 million. The district previously refinanced the bonds in 2005, which resulted in savings of $2.5 million over the last ten years at the interest rate of 4.98%.
 
Reports made to the board included:
  • Dr. Largent reported that implementation of the G2020 strategic plan was moving ahead with project based learning initiatives, facility improvements, and a mobile bus for community events and stops in area subdivisions.
  • The superintendent also reported that he would be testifying before the Texas House of Representatives’ Committee on Public Education. His testimony would be in favor of House Bill 3970, which would flexibility to school districts that have instructional time that exceeds the minimum required by the state. These schools would be allowed to cancel school for up to four days annually for bad weather without waivers and built-in bad weather makeup days. The legislation was filed by state representative Jim Keffer at the request of GISD.
  • Dr. Largent outlined a series of facility projects and other needs that could be completed during the summer if funded with district reserves. The board will consider the projects at a future meeting.
  • Financial statements for February 2015, cash flow and investment report for February 2015, and a bond expenditure report for March 2015 were reviewed by assistant superintendent Dobie Williams.
Board members approved minutes from the last regular meeting, budget amendments, and bids for:  HVAC supplies and refrigerants; instructional supplies and teaching aids; library books, class sets, e-books, reference materials, and video; science supplies and equipment; music, band, and choir related items and services; and copy paper. Trustees extended contracts with Region XI Education Service Contract for various instructional services and applications. The board also approved an upgrade to the security video system at Granbury High School.
 
Donations reported to the board included $438 from the Pirate Baseball booster club for team meals; $1,024 from Van Griffith Kia for life skills classroom supplies at the high school; $1,031 from the Baccus PTO for the installation of a screen and projector; $600 from the Brawner PTO for student folders.
 
Trustees will next convene for their regular monthly meeting on Monday, May 11. Board meetings are held in the GISD Board Room located next to the Administration Building at 600 W. Pearl Street.
 

 
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